COURTENEY MURPHY may not have played her part on the park on Saturday but the Fermanagh captain kicked every-ball with her team as they ended over 12 months of hurt with a three point win over Wicklow.
Murphy had been an injury worry for manager Jonny Garrity ahead of this game but he always had the hope she would make it for the final. Despite the best efforts of a dedicated medical team and countless hours of treatment it wasn’t to be and Murphy was forced to sit in the stand, perhaps it’s worse than playing but her reaction at the end summed up the pent up emotion.
“This has been unbelievable. I’m so proud to be captain today, I couldn’t have been on the pitch, but Jesus Christ. I’m so proud of what you’ve done today.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she roared from the stand at Parnell Park “let’s take the cup to Fermanagh”
There were tense moments in the game and Courteney admitted this was a good Wicklow side, genuinely feeling though the experience from this year will, as it did for her side at the weekend, help next year.
“It’s a really tough place to be but you’re an unreal team and I don’t mean that in a patronising way but you will be here next year and this experience will be useful to you all.”
Murphy’s side had lost to Wicklow in the opening round of the Championship although there was no doubting that Fermanagh had learnt from that loss. Indeed it was also evident the loss to Louth from Croke Park was never far from the minds of the Erne girls as she paid tribute to manager Garrity and the entire backroom team.
“It’s been a long two years with you and it has been a long bit more than 12 months to get back here today, but we have to thank you for the time that you spent and in reality we wouldn’t be here only for you.”
A spectator-less Parnell Park with families, friends and supporters having to watch on TV screens, devoid of atmosphere although perhaps that made the win even more special for Fermanagh.
Murphy was delighted that while their families were not there, they could feel part of the occasion and paying tribute to the supporters and sponsors who rallied to help fund the team.
Courteney had a special word for those who also helped with the GoFundMe page that raised a mammoth sum in a just a few weeks.
“We have to thank our family and friends and everyone who made the effort to give us something on GoFundMe. We wouldn’t be here only for you, so a massive big thank you,” admitted the skipper.
The presentation was certainly different but it didn’t detract from the emotional feelings that rose into the night air of Dublin.
Sadly she may not have kicked a ball but Murphy certainly played her part.